For anyone that serves at a church either as a staff person or as a volunteer like the awesome volunteers at Church of the Suncoast this is especially for you:
In Matthew 20:15-16 Jesus tells a story about a land owner who goes out and hires people at different times of the day, but pays them all the same thing. The owner when questioned by the people hired first (and who had expected more money) says that he has the right to pay people as he sees fit. Basically, they were envious of the owners generosity in rewarding those who didn't work as hard or as long.
As I was reading that the other day it hit me. We do that all the time in the church world. We do that in our serving in two ways!!! We have to be very careful in being over confident in our service. Just because we think we served longer or harder than someone in another ministry doesn't mean the reward will be greater. BUT, we also tend to get discouraged when our serving is not in as glamorous a role and we think our reward will be small because this job seems so unimportant. We might be doing something small but God might reward it even more we find in this verse.
HERE is the bottom line. We don't set up, tear down, change diapers, set up hospitality stuff, run a video camera, play an instrument, run a computer, tweak a sound board, run a cable, lead a children's environment, hand out a program, or wave people down in a parking lot for the reward. God gets to reward us as HE sees fit. We don't serve to be rewarded. This is not a contract deal, otherwise we have already had our reward. We serve because we love God and we want to put a smile on His face by helping create environments for people to fall in love with Him too. We serve because Jesus served us and gave His life up for us on the cross! We serve with all we have, we give all, we do what we have to do, we come early and stay late because Jesus gave us ALL He had. He gave us His best!!!
The take home? Don't compare your service or volunteering on a Sunday with anyone else. AND, for pastors like me... Don't compare your church to the guys down the road or the one everyone is talking about in the blogosphere!
Tell me what you think? Do you have a take on this? Leave a comment:
I am with you on this. I find myself over celebrating, under appreciating, and all around become self-absorbed when I focus on other churches and not God. Thanks for redirecting my focus.
I wrote this in my journal and thought others would be where I am. We need to do lunch soon :-)
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